Wow, Brampton local politics just got exciting in a big way.
Thanks to an unpredicted and untimely intervention by Ontario Premier Doug Ford, the local electoral landscape has shifted in a big way. What was to have been a mediocre mayoral race has turned, on a dime, into a dragged out slobberknocker of a contest that may surprise Bramptonians when they cast their ballots on October 22.
Brampton will also elect city and regional councillors, as well as trustees on both the Peel District School Board and the Dufferin Peel Catholic school board. City / regional councillors and public school trustees will represent two wards each.With that being said, here are your candidates for Brampton’s 2018 municipal elections.
The landscape of the Brampton mayoral race completely changed last week on July 27, the final date for candidates to register with the city to run. Premier Ford’s decision to cancel elections for regional chair in Peel, York, Niagara and Muskoka resulted in former PC leader Patrick Brown, who had been running for Peel Region chair, to jump into the mayor’s race at the last minute.
Mayor Linda Jeffrey, seeking her second term as mayor after being elected in 2014 and usually a rather stoic figure, lashed out at Brown’s candidacy, saying he would “bring chaos and would continue fighting old political battles which would harm Brampton in the long run.”
Other candidates include current regional councillor John Sprovieri, who had his own choice words for Jeffrey, lawyer Wesley Jackson, Mansoor Ameersulthan, Vinod Kumar Mahesan, and former Conservative MP and cabinet minister Baljit Gosal, who represented Bramalea-Gore-Malton from 2011 to 2015.
Wards 1 & 5 (City and Regional)
With the retirements of city councillor Grant Gibson and regional councillor Elaine Moore, both of whom have been in office for decades, several candidates have jumped into the race to be the next councillors representing downtown Brampton and surrounding communities.
Eleven candidates filed to run for Gibson’s seat on city council: Sanjeev Bansal, Princess Boucher, Abdul Q. Chaudhry, Imtiaz Haider, Harmanpreet Mankoo, Karanjit Singh Pandher, Don Patel, Joe Pimentel, Daryl Romeo, Rowena Santos, and Josephine Tatangelo.
As for Wards 1 and 5’s regional seat, a more modest six candidates are in the running: Rajbir Kaur, Carman McClelland (a former MPP), Charles Moffatt, Harnek Rai, Mario Russo, and Paul Vicente.
Santos and Vicente announced in a press release that they would be running “as a team” in the election. “Brampton has outgrown its small town status. We need councillors who will actively engage with constituents and take swift action to move our city forward. Let’s make Brampton a place where people can live, work, and play,” says Santos.
“It is time for Council to end its political games and to start putting Bramptonians first. We need a team that will address crime, gridlock, and improve the local economy,” says Vicente, who is also the founder of a citizens group called Stand Up for Brampton, of which Santos has also had involvement in.
Wards 2 & 6 (City and Regional)
Despite being rather uncontroversial first term incumbents, both city councillor Doug Whillans and regional councillor Michael Paul Palleschi are facing a substantial number of challengers in their races.
Whillans faces eight other candidates for his seat: Jermaine Chambers (a banker and former Ontario PC party nomination candidate), Ojie Eghobor, Paul Mann, Jim McDowell, Lisa Pearce, Joseph Shaji, Joe Sidhu, and Anwar Warsi.
Palleschi, who was a rumoured mayoral candidate, faces seven others for his regional seat: Gurpreet Kaur Bains, Everton Campbell, Shannon Iyer, Allan Jones, Lateef Khaliq, Nisha Luthra, and Raghav Patel.
Although, the increased number of challengers may stand to benefit incumbents Whillans and Palleschi, as they both were elected in 2014 with less than 40 per cent of the vote in what was then multi-person contests as well.
Wards 3 & 4 (City and Regional)
City councillor Jeff Bowman is running for re-election, but he has to get by six other candidates: Parin Choksi, Harpreet Singh Hansra (a well known community activist), Omar Mansoury (who was previously running for mayor), Ryan Rennie, Nishi Sidhu, and Tanveer Singh. Hansra may pose as Bowman’s most signficant challenger.
Former regional councillor John Sanderson (left) will be looking to get his old job back from current regional councillor Martin Medeiros (right) in Wards 3 & 4
As for the regional council seat, it looks like a bit of a grudge match between incumbent Martin Medeiros and former councillor John Sanderson, who decided to run for mayor four years ago against then-incumbent Susan Fennell and Jeffrey. Sanderson was previously the regional councillor from 2006 to 2014.
The other candidates for Ward 3 & 4 regional councillor are Prabhjot Grewal, Joseph Kus and Chirag Patel.
Wards 7 & 8 (City and Regional)
The retirement of longtime councillor Gael Miles, who was first elected in 1988, has set off changes not only in the race for her successor, but the city council seat for the same wards.
Pat Fortini, the city councillor in Wards 7 & 8, is running for Miles’ vacated regional seat, leaving nine candidates vying to be the new city councillor: Karla Bailey, Harveen Dhaliwal, Sam Kunjicka, Drew Riedstra, Cheryl Rodricks (a previous candidate for council in Brampton and Mississauga), Gurvinder Singh, Martin Singh, Mokshi Virk and Charmaine Williams.
As mentioned, Fortini is running for regional council and only against three other candidates: Bruce Marshall, Ajay Tandon and Cody Vatcher, an Ontario PC party activist who, at 19, may be the youngest candidate in the city.
Like Santos and Vicente from Wards 1 & 5, Fortini and Martin Singh released a joint statement stating that they are running as a team. Singh also happens to be a former NDP MP candidate in Brampton and once ran for that party’s federal leadership.
Wards 9 & 10 (City and Regional)
Coun. Sprovieri’s decision to not seek another term on regional council has opened the door for a vocal city councillor to seek Sprovieri’s regional seat, but it’s not likely going to be a cakewalk.
Vicky Dhillon (left) looks to avenge his 2014 loss against Gurpreet Dhillon (right). Photo from Gurpreet Dhillon’s Twitter account
You could call this the Battle of the Dhillons, in a manner of speaking. City councillor Gurpreet Dhillon is being challenged in his run for regional councillor by Vicky Dhillon, who was the councillor Gurpreet defeated for the city post back in 2014. A third candidate, Michelle Shaw, is also running.
As for the city council position, seven candidates are running for it, including Harkirat Singh (the current Peel public school board trustee for Wards 9 & 10), as well as Mangaljitt Dabb, Michael Farquharson, Dharmaveer Gohil, Mahendra Gupta, Rohit Sidhu and Naresh Tharani.
Here are the candidates running for School Board Trustee in the Peel District School Board:
Wards 1 & 5
Incumbent trustee David Green is facing Claudette Alcock, Rajwinder Ghuman, Yusuf Khan, Rita Persaud and Stan Taylor in his reelection bid.
Wards 2 & 6
Nine candidates are running to replace trustee Suzanne Nurse, who is not running again: Arun Thomas Alex, Alex Battick, William Davies, Harjot Singh Gill, Andrew Mendoza, Mansoor Mirza, Faraz Saleem, Raman Vasudev and Odoi Yemoh.
Wards 3 & 4
Incumbent trustee Kathy McDonald is running again but is facing six other candidates: Shahbaz Altaf, Prabhjot Kainth, Harbandna Kaur, Seema Shah, Faisal Tahir and Radha Tailor, a local Brampton media personality.
Wards 7 & 8
Trustee Carrie Andrews is running for another term, but there are six others who want her job: Zain Ali, Andrea Francis-Bucknor, Michael Gyovai, Lynne Lazare, Garner Liverpool and Jashan Singh.
Wards 9 & 10
Incumbent trustee Harkirat Singh is running for city council, so that leaves twelve candidates running for his seat: Chetan Brahmbhatt, Albert Evans, Janice Gordon, Theresa Giudolin, Satpaul Singh Johal, Mazhar Khan, Ashman Khroad, Sia Lakhanpal, Khushpal Pawar, Dipal Shah, Balbir Sohi and Shilpa Vij-Sharma.
The two more interesting candidates that stand out are Sohi, who is a registered dental hygienist and once competed on Dragons Den pitching a mobile dental clinic called “Smiles on Wheels,” and Pawar, who recently completed a term as student trustee on the PDSB.
All Brampton’s three Catholic trustees are running again. Shawn Xaviour of Wards 7, 8, 9 and 10 was elected by acclamation for another term as no one registered to run against him. Trustee Anna D’Silva faces three other candidates, while trustee Daryl D’Souza faces four challengers.
There are other interesting municipal election news across Ontario as well:
The elections in London, Ontario may be of interest for those who are preferential, ranked ballot fans. London has adopted the system of ranking candidates for this election, when voters number off their first, second and third choices. The system is designed to ensure a winner gets 50 per cent or more of the vote, whether they come from first choices, second or even third choice. It will be interesting to see how candidates campaigning knowing that they could persuade someone to vote for them as second choice, if not their first.
In Kingston and Cambridge, they will be holding referendums alongside the municipal election on whether to adopt ranked choice voting in 2022.
- In York Region, there has been some talk whether the regional municipality should continue with the election for chair, even as a non-binding referendum, hoping that regional council would appoint the choice voters made. But considering that the move Ford made was to cancel the election itself, that seems highly unlikely. Current York Regional chair Wayne Emmerson, who dropped out of the race, announced a day after that he would be “running” (aka seeking to be reappointed) to the post.
- In the city of Thunder Bay, 11 candidates are running to become the northern city’s new mayor, after incumbent Keith Hobbs announced he was not running for another term as mayor or councillor. Hobbs, a former police officer, was charged with extortion and obstruction of justice back in May.
For a complete list of candidates running in Brampton, click here.
Municipal elections take place on October 22.